The India Fan (Casablanca Classics) - Victoria Holt

The backstory of this book felt like it took fully half of the book to develop. I've just now gotten to the point where the main character, Drusilla, has inherited the titular India Fan. There is very little gothic going on at this point. I don't dislike it, necessarily, but when I read a Holt gothic, I'm looking for some sense of suspense or brooding mystery, which is not the atmosphere so far.

 

Having read a number of Holt books over the last couple of years, I feel like she is just retelling Jane Eyre over and over with varying levels of success, by plucking elements out of Bronte's classic and plugging them into her current writing book. This isn't a criticism so much as it an observation, since this particular device worked really well for her, and when it is done with panache and delicacy it can be very effective. Unfortunately, in this one, her main Eyreian (yes, I just made up that word) device - the mysterious woman in the attic - is pretty clunky and doesn't generate the suspense that it should have in order to work.

 

Anyway, now that we've - hopefully - gotten to the point, I shall read on.